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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dallas Man Who Admitted Role in AAFES Jewelry Theft Scheme is Sentenced to 17 Months in Federal prison

Ex-Wife and Two Sons Also Pleaded Guilty to Their Roles in Thefts

DALLAS — Arthur Lee Hightower, II, a Dallas man who was on the lam for more than seven months following his indictment in May 2015 for his role in a jewelry theft scheme that targeted the Army and Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES), was sentenced today, following his guilty plea in February 2016, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Hightower II, 56, was sentenced to 17 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay.  He was also ordered to pay $47,740 in restitution. 

In May 2015, Hightower and his former wife, Jessie Faye Hightower, a/k/a “Jessie Faye Lewis,” 55, of Balch Springs, Texas, and their two sons, Arthur Lee Hightower III, 34, of Lancaster, Texas, and Travoine Lee Hightower, 31, of Dallas, were charged in a federal indictment with felony offenses stemming from a scheme which began with Hightower II stealing 70 wedding ring sets valued at nearly $100,000 from AAFES.  Jessie Fay Hightower and Arthur Lee Hightower III each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to receive stolen government property (stolen ring sets) and were sentenced to 18-month and 24-month terms of probation, respectively.  Travoine Lee Hightower pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen government property and was sentenced to a one-year term of probation. 

According to plea documents filed in the case, Hightower II worked as a truck driver, and part of his duties included delivering AAFES merchandise to the AAFES offices in Dallas.  On approximately October 3, 2014, Hightower II, who was responsible for safeguarding the merchandise, did not deliver all of the AAFES merchandise instead, he stole approximately 70 wedding ring sets from AAFES.

Hightower II admitted he gave several of the wedding ring sets to his co-defendant family members so they could pawn the stolen jewelry to obtain cash. 

The case was investigated by agents of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.  Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jarvis prosecuted.

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Updated November 29, 2016